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Playoff Extra: Wild Card Weekend Rankings

Senior Fantasy Writer
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We've already given you a strategy to help set your lineup for the Playoff Challenge. Now here are some playoff rankings with a look at who to start and sit for the Wild Card round, featuring Indianapolis at Baltimore, Cincinnati at Houston, Seattle at Washington and Minnesota at Green Bay.

The rankings are for the entire postseason, and we will update them each week throughout the playoffs.

Editor's note: The units listed after each player's name is the value assigned to each player in the CBSSports.com Playoff Challenge.

Quarterbacks

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1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers -- 82 units
2. Peyton Manning, Broncos -- 80 units
3. Tom Brady, Patriots -- 81 units
4. Matt Ryan, Falcons -- 74 units
5. Russell Wilson, Seahawks -- 66 units
6. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers -- 62 units
7. Joe Flacco, Ravens -- 61 units
8. Robert Griffin III, Redskins -- 71 units
9. Matt Schaub, Texans -- 64 units
10. Andy Dalton, Bengals -- 44 units
11. Andrew Luck, Colts -- 63 units
12. Christian Ponder, Vikings -- 38 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Rodgers, Wilson, Flacco
Sits: Griffin, Schaub, Dalton, Luck, Ponder
Rodgers is clearly the best quarterback this week. He is getting hot at the right time with 11 total touchdowns in his past three games with no interceptions and an average of 333 passing yards over that span. In Week 17 at Minnesota he had 365 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. ... Wilson was a Top 12 Fantasy passer in eight of his final nine games and scored at least 23 Fantasy points in three road games at Miami, Chicago and Buffalo. ... Flacco had at least 18 Fantasy points in three of his final four home games. ... Griffin is facing a Seahawks defense that has allowed just one quarterback to score more than 17 Fantasy points since Week 8, and Griffin has just two games with more than 19 Fantasy points since Week 7. ... Schaub has three games in his past four without a touchdown pass and has one game with more than 16 Fantasy points since Week 11. ... Since Mohammed Sanu (foot) got hurt in Week 12, Dalton hasn't had more than 16 Fantasy points. He's missing a third receiving option after A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham, and it shows. ... Like Griffin, Luck has struggled to close the season with just two games with more than 19 Fantasy points since Week 9. He's also facing a Ravens defense that has allowed just one quarterback to score more than 15 Fantasy points since Week 10, including matchups with both Manning brothers. ... Ponder just had 28 Fantasy points against the Packers in Week 17, but he had eight points at Green Bay in Week 13 and can't be trusted.

Running Backs

1. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos -- 60 units
2. Stevan Ridley, Patriots -- 63 units
3. Arian Foster, Texans -- 68 units
4. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks -- 67 units
5. Ray Rice, Ravens -- 65 units
6. Frank Gore, 49ers -- 59 units
7. Adrian Peterson, Vikings -- 69 units
8. Alfred Morris, Redskins -- 57 units
9. DuJuan Harris, Packers -- 7 units
10. Michael Turner, Falcons -- 54 units
11. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals -- 53 units
12. Danny Woodhead, Patriots -- 35 units
13. Vick Ballard, Colts -- 42 units
14. Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons -- 41 units
15. Bernard Pierce, Ravens -- 24 units
16. Ben Tate, Texans -- 23 units
17. Ryan Grant, Packers -- 19 units
18. LaMichael James, 49ers -- 9 units
19. Willis McGahee, Broncos -- 38 units
20. Alex Green, Packers -- 33 units
21. Shane Vereen, Patriots -- 24 units
22. Ronnie Hillman, Broncos -- 16 units
23. Jason Snelling, Falcons -- 10 units
24. James Starks, Packers -- 32 units
25. Brian Leonard, Bengals -- 2 units
26. Cedric Peerman, Bengals -- 16 units
27. Brandon Bolden, Patriots -- 24 units
28. Robert Turbin, Seahawks -- 23 units
29. Delone Carter, Colts -- 12 units
30. James Casey, Texans -- 14 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Peterson, Foster, Rice, Lynch, Morris, Harris, Green-Ellis
Sits: Ballard and all the backups
In two games against the Packers since Week 13, Peterson has 55 carries for 409 yards and two touchdowns and two catches for 12 yards and a touchdown. If the Vikings can pull off the upset and Peterson gets into the Divisional round of the playoffs then anyone who used him has a good chance of winning. ... Foster had double digits in Fantasy points in all but one game this year with 17 total touchdowns. Last year against the Bengals in the Wild Card round -- with T.J. Yates at quarterback -- he had 24 carries for 153 yards and two touchdowns and three catches for 29 yards. ... Rice gets a Colts defense that has allowed 15 touchdowns to opposing running backs and 14 to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including one in each of the past three games. ... Lynch has five games in a row with double digits in Fantasy points and nine of his past 10, and the Redskins have allowed a running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points in six of their past seven outings. ... Morris has double digits in Fantasy points in each of his past six games and has at least 20 carries in each of his past seven outings. There were five running backs with at least 16 carries against the Seahawks this year and five reached double digits in Fantasy points. ... Harris is a sneaky sleeper since he has at least eight Fantasy points in three of his past four games, including 14 carries for 70 yards and two catches for 17 yards against the Vikings in Week 17. The Packers don't have a true running back, but he's worth the gamble based on his price. ... Green-Ellis is risky with his hamstring at less than 100 percent, but the Texans have allowed five touchdowns to running backs since Week 12 with five reaching double digits in Fantasy points. ... Ballard has double digits in Fantasy points in four of his past five games, but he has just two touchdowns over that span. The Ravens also get Ray Lewis (triceps) back, which should help their leaky run defense.

Wide Receivers

1. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos -- 48 units
2. Eric Decker, Broncos -- 46 units
3. Wes Welker, Patriots -- 48 units
4. Greg Jennings, Packers -- 39 units
5. Roddy White, Falcons -- 46 units
6. Julio Jones, Falcons -- 45 units
7. Andre Johnson, Texans -- 45 units
8. Michael Crabtree, 49ers -- 37 units
9. James Jones, Packers -- 40 units
10. Randall Cobb, Packers -- 44 units
11. A.J. Green, Bengals -- 43 units
12. Jordy Nelson, Packers -- 41 units
13. Torrey Smith, Ravens -- 36 units
14. Pierre Garcon, Redskins -- 35 units
15. Brandon Lloyd, Patriots -- 39 units
16. Reggie Wayne, Colts -- 39 units
17. Anquan Boldin, Ravens -- 29 units
18. Golden Tate, Seahawks -- 32 units
19. Sidney Rice, Seahawks -- 34 units
20. T.Y. Hilton, Colts -- 26 units
21. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks -- 24 units
22. Randy Moss, 49ers -- 23 units
23. Santana Moss, Redskins -- 18 units
24. Brandon Stokley, Broncos -- 24 units
25. Donnie Avery, Colts -- 22 units
26. Jacoby Jones, Ravens -- 9 units
27. Marvin Jones, Bengals -- 10 units
28. Andrew Hawkins, Bengals -- 8 units
29. Kevin Walter, Texans -- 13 units
30. Jarius Wright, Vikings -- 11 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Jennings, Johnson, Jones, Cobb, Green, Nelson, Smith, Wayne
Sits: Garcon, Boldin, Tate, Rice, Hilton
I like all the Packers receivers this week, but Jennings just scored twice against Minnesota in Week 17. He was also targeted a team-high 12 times and now has seven touchdowns in his past five meetings with the Vikings. Cobb is expected to be fine for the playoffs despite missing Week 17 with ankle and knee injuries, and he finished the season with double digits in Fantasy points in seven of his final 11 games. Jones has six touchdowns in his final five games, including one in each game against the Vikings in Week 13 and 17. Nelson returned from a three-game absence with a hamstring injury against the Vikings in Week 17 and had three catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. ... Johnson had at least 95 receiving yards in seven of his final nine games. He had five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown last year against the Bengals in the playoffs. ... Green faces a Texans defense that has allowed nine receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points since Week 10. He was held to five catches for 47 yards at Houston in the playoffs last year and should be looking for some revenge. ... Smith has seven touchdowns at home this year, and No. 1 receivers have done serious damage against the Colts with 12 reaching double digits in Fantasy points. ... Wayne is facing a Ravens defense that has allowed a receiver to score in five of their past six games, and he has double digits in Fantasy points in three of his past six games. ... Garcon has gone three games in a row with single digits in Fantasy points and is facing the best secondary in the NFL with Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, who is eligible to return from his four-game suspension this week. ... Boldin is dealing with a shoulder injury, which caused him to miss Week 17. He's risky because he had six games with double digits in Fantasy points in 2012 but also six games with four points or less. ... Hilton is better indoors than outdoors. On grass this year he has just one touchdown and is averaging 14.7 yards per catch compared to 17.5 yards indoors. ... Figuring out the Seattle receivers is like solving the fiscal cliff. There were only three times this year where Rice and Tate reached double digits in Fantasy points at the same time, and it happened just once on the road at Chicago in Week 13.

Tight Ends

1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots -- 44 units
2. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots -- 37 units
3. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons -- 39 units
4. Dennis Pitta, Ravens -- 32 units
5. Jermichael Finley, Packers -- 22 units
6. Delanie Walker, 49ers -- 16 units
7. Joel Dreessen, Broncos -- 23 units
8. Jacob Tamme, Broncos -- 23 units
9. Owen Daniels, Texans -- 30 units
10. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals -- 82 units
11. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings -- 17 units
12. Vernon Davis, 49ers -- 15 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Pitta, Gresham, Finley, Rudolph
Sits: Daniels
Pitta has four games with double digits in Fantasy points at home this year and has scored three touchdowns in his past four home games. ... Gresham is facing a Texans defense that has allowed five touchdowns to tight ends in the past four games. ... Finley had two of his best games this season against the Vikings with six catches for 60 yards on seven targets in Week 13 and eight catches for 72 yards on nine targets in Week 17. ... Rudolph had a touchdown in Week 13 against Green Bay, and the key for Rudolph is targets. He has nine games this season with at least six targets, and he's scored in seven of those games. ... Daniels has more than four Fantasy points just once since Week 11, and the Bengals have not allowed a tight end to score since Week 9.

Kickers

1. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots -- 32 units
2. Matt Prater, Broncos -- 31 units
3. Matt Bryant, Falcons -- 30 units
4. Mason Crosby, Packers -- 28 units
5. David Akers/Billy Cundiff, 49ers -- 30 units
6. Shayne Graham, Texans -- 30 units
7. Justin Tucker, Ravens -- 27 units
8. Steven Hauschka, Seahawks -- 26 units
9. Kai Forbath, Redskins -- 17 units
10. Josh Brown, Bengals -- 15 units
11. Blair Walsh, Vikings -- 27 units
12. Adam Vinatieri, Colts -- 26 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Crosby, Graham, Tucker, Vinatieri, Walsh
Sits: Forbath, Hauschka, Brown

Defense/Special Teams

1. Broncos -- 36 units
2. Seahawks -- 32 units
3. 49ers -- 37 units
4. Patriots -- 35 units
5. Packers -- 82 units
6. Falcons -- 30 units
7. Texans -- 35 units
8. Ravens -- 30 units
9. Bengals -- 32 units
10. Colts -- 21 units
11. Redskins -- 21 units
12. Vikings -- 24 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Seahawks, Ravens, Packers
Sits: Texans, Bengals, Colts, Redskins, Vikings

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Jermaine Kearse shows off his arm in Week 3
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:28 pm ET) Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse showed off his arm in Week 3 against the Broncos.

Kearse took a reverse and tossed a 17-yard pass back to Russell Wilson, who got stopped just shy of the end zone in the first quarter. However, he wasn't much of a factor on Sunday, catching all two of his targets after halftime. He finished the game with 22 yards on two receptions in a 26-20 overtime win.


Jacob Tamme scores late-game touchdown in overtime defeat
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:25 pm ET) Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme stepped up in place of an injured Virgil Green and came down with the game-tying touchdown in Week 3 against the Seahawks.

Tamme hauled in a 26-yard touchdown reception with 18 seconds remaining in regulation. His other grab came in the third quarter for minus-4 yards. He was targeted three times and finished with 22 yards in a 26-20 defeat.


Ryan Shazier hobbles off with knee injury
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:23 pm ET) Steelers rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier left the game at Carolina in the third quarter with a right knee injury and won't return. Shazier made three tackles, giving him 20 in three games.

Julius Thomas scores fifth touchdown in three games
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:22 pm ET) Broncos tight end Julius Thomas scored his fifth touchdown of the season in a Week 3 overtime loss to the Seahawks on Sunday.

Thomas was limited to just one grab for 9 yards in the first half. He caught a 5-yard pass on the first drive of the final quarter. On the ensuing drive, Peyton Manning gave him a shovel pass for a 3-yard touchdown. Thomas caught three of the four passes thrown his way for 17 yards and a touchdown in a 26-20 defeat.

Through three games, Thomas has registered 160 receiving yards to go along with his five touchdowns. The Broncos will get a bye before returning to action at home in Week 5 against Arizona.


Emmanuel Sanders posts career-high 149 receiving yards in Week 3
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:17 pm ET) Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders got off to a fast start, receiving a ton of targets in Sunday's Super Bowl rematch against Seattle.

With the focus on Demaryius Thomas, Sanders shined as Peyton Manning's primary target. He came down with a 42-yard grab on the final drive of the day, which led to the touchdown that sent the game to overtime. He caught 11 of the 15 passes thrown his way for 149 yards in a 26-20 overtime loss -- all a career-high for the 27-year-old.

Sanders has surpassed the 100-yard mark in back-to-back games. The Broncos will get a week of rest before returning to action in Week 5 at home against Arizona.


Wes Welker has six grabs in first game back from suspension
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:10 pm ET) Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker checked in as the third receiver in the second quarter of Week 3 in Seattle, his first game back from suspension.

Welker caught passes for 3 and 9 yards on that drive for his only grabs in the first half. However, he bounced back and earned a bigger role in the aerial attack in the second half, receiving six targets in the final two quarters. Welker caught six of the eight passes thrown his way for 60 yards in a 26-20 overtime defeat.

The Broncos have a bye week, so Welker will get a full week of rest before squaring off at home against the Cardinals in Week 5.


Demaryius Thomas makes a couple of pivotal catches in OT loss
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:05 pm ET) Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas worked through a sore foot injury and still managed to make some big plays in Week 3 overtime loss to the Seahawks.

The 26-year-old got off to a dreadful start on Sunday, as he was held without a grab in the first half. He came down with an 11-yard reception with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter for his first grab of the day.

Down eight points, Thomas converted a pivotal third down with under 30 remaining, which led to a Peyton Manning touchdown to Jacob Tamme on the following play. Thomas kept his feet in bounds near the back of the end zone for a spectacular catch for a two-point conversion following the touchdown, which sent the game to overtime.

Thomas, who was covered by Richard Sherman through most of the afternoon, finished with four catches for 31 yards. He was targeted 12 times in a 26-20 defeat. Thomas has not racked up more than 65 receiving yards in a game this season. He'll get a bye week before facing the Cardinals at home in Week 5.


Daniel Thomas, Damien Williams held in check vs. Chiefs
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:58 pm ET) Dolphins backup running backs Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams both took a backseat to Lamar Miller in a Week 3 loss to the Chiefs. Thomas was limited to two carries for 15 yards on the ground, and tacked on a 21-yard reception in a 34-15 defeat. Williams was held to just one carry for minus-3 yards.

Bengals expect Marvin Jones back after bye
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:56 pm ET) Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said receiver Marvin Jones, who has not played this season due to a foot injury, should be healthy enough to return after the team's Week 4 bye, reports ESPN.com. That means Jones could make his debut Oct. 5 at New England.

Charles Clay barely a factor in Week 3
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:54 pm ET) Dolphins tight end Charles Clay, who caught seven passes last week, took another step back in a Week 3 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday.

Clay was held without a grab through the first three quarters of the game. His first catch did not come until the penultimate drive on offense for Miami. He finished with three catches for 24 yards on seven targets in a 34-15 defeat.

Clay has 82 receiving yards through three games. He'll look to bounce back in Week 4 against Oakland.


 
 
 
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